France Summer Service Program
Learn French while exploring and engaging in cultural activities and summer community service on this high school travel program!
Want more than just a standard France teen travel program? Oui, this French adventure has it all! From the grandeur of the Palais de Versailles to the rugged and majestic French Alps, the rich history of the Medieval City of Carcassonne, and the sparkling lights of the Eiffel Tower, your journey introduces you to some of France’s most iconic sites and stories. Delve deeper into the culture by living with local families, volunteering on historical restoration service projects, running activities for children at a day camp, and hiking shepherd’s trails through the Alps. A truly immersive summer service program in France!
This immersive experience starts and ends in Paris. We picnic as a group for lunch in the artsy neighborhood of Montmartre. This is the perfect location for us to get to know each other and establish both personal and group goals. As we refresh our French conversational skills, we catch our first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower from the overlook in front of Sacré Coeur. To end our first full day in France, we climb the stairs to the top of the Eiffel Tower and enjoy dinner as a group in a local restaurant on Rue Cler. Next, we head out of the city via high speed train to the Southeast of France, beautiful Grenoble, the capital of the French Alps. Here, we settle into our cozy accommodations and explore the city known for its dedication to preserving the natural environment. We ride “the bubbles” to take in the extraordinary panorama. From here, we gain context for the region via a discussion with local experts.
From Grenoble, we travel via private bus to stay in a small village far from the tourist crowds where down-to-earth, open-hearted people make for a warm reception! The towering scenery is breathtaking and adventure awaits us. We focus on cultural exchange and community service by working alongside community members on environmental and historical restoration initiatives. Our service includes environmental projects, such as trail maintenance in the nearby national park and repairing historic stone walls. But that’s not all! An exciting whitewater rafting trip brings us to a swimming spot in a waterfall. We also take an overnight hike up to a gîte, or mountain lodge, that provides traditional French meals and hospitality. We spend the night in the mountains before hiking back down to our base in the village.
Board our private bus for a ride south toward the quaint, picturesque city of Avignon. After settling into our new hotel, we visit the Palais des Papes to learn about this intriguing gothic architectural wonder. We stop by the famed Pont d’Avignon, the broken bridge of Avignon. Our visit happens to align with the world-famous Avignon Theater Festival, so we have the opportunity to explore the festival and associated celebrations. The next morning, a quick 40 minute bus ride takes us to the Pont de Gard for a kayaking excursion and picnic. We spend some time getting ready for the next phase of our trip – homestays in Carcassonne!
We are off to Carcassonne, our new home town near the Mediterranean! Living with local families is an excellent opportunity to practice language skills, make friends, and absorb the many cultural differences found in day-to-day living and conversation. Throughout our time here, we work on community development and education projects. We volunteer at a youth summer camp and teach English to elementary students. In nearby towns, our students work to restore historical sites important to the regional heritage, such as an 11th-century chateau, a canal’s irrigation system, or a medieval lookout tower. Excursions to the beach, through the fortress of Carcassonne, and into an underground cavern round out this memorable stay.
Please see The Homestay Experience for more information on how we select our homestay communities and families!
From Carcassonne, it’s time to explore the architectural wonders of the Sun King at le Château de Versailles. We spend a day in Versailles, touring the famous royal gardens and palace by foot and bicycle.
Bien sur, a visit to France would never be complete without time spent in beautiful Paris. We kick off our visit with a cruise along the Seine River to view the Paris monuments lit against the night sky. During the day there is so much to see and do: the Champs Elysées, the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, Montmartre, le Louvre, and Musée d’Orsay… the list goes on and on! We muster enough energy to have a final dinner celebration, during which we recollect how our time with Global Works gave us a unique and fulfilling glimpse of French culture.
The Global Works chaperoned Group Flight departs from New York (JFK) for this program. Airfare is not included in the tuition. Please visit the Group Flight Portal to book your flight after enrollment and Flight & Travel Arrangements for more information about travel days.
Please note that this itinerary is subject to change.
Participants may be subject to additional expenses related to entry requirements to your destination and/or re-entry to your home country. Global Works does not cover these expenses. Additional costs may include, but are not limited to, COVID tests, insurance, or other. See our Covid-19 FAQ’s for more information. The most up to date requirements can be found via links on your login page on the Flight and Travel Day Instruction form after enrollment.
Community Service Projects
Maintain hiking trails and shepherd’s paths in a national park in the Alps
Restore the grounds of an 11th-century castle and maintain the St. Jacques de Compostelle ancient pilgrimage trail
Day Camp Education
Volunteer at a youth summer camp and teach English to elementary school students
Adventure & Cultural Activities
Tour the Chateau de Versailles and its elaborate gardens
Raft an alpine river
Hike to a mountain hut for two nights in the French Alps
Swim in the Mediterranean Sea
Visit Paris and its wealth of iconic, historical landmarks
Explore a medieval castle town
Situated in the very heart of the Marais district- and within walking distance to Ile Saint-Louis, Notre Dame, the Louvre Museum, and other Paris sights- it’s hard to beat the location of our hostel! The group stays at one of La MIJE locations, each in remodeled 17th-century buildings within a 3 block radius. Accommodations are simple, yet comfortable. Global Works students stay in private rooms.
Our “gite,” or mountain lodge, is in the small town of Mizoen. Lodging is in bunk-bed rooms of 4-6 students. Locally owned, our hosts prepare and serve all our meals on the umbrella lined patio overlooking the Alps. The group also spends 2 nights in a rustic mountain hut or “refuge” nestled in a valley up in the mountains. The hut is a full day’s hike from our home base in Mizoen.
We will stay in the medieval town of Carcassonne in the South of France. We will live in homestays with families with 2-3 students per family. During the day, we will have the opportunity to interact with local families and do service work.
Our lodging in Versailles is a converted monastery, now perfect for groups like Global Works. Participants stay in rooms of 2-6 students. This beautiful hotel is on the edge of the Versailles gardens and has ample room for group games and meetings.